By 2019, 65% of South African mobile connections will be “smart” connections. This is according to the latest annual update of the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast 2014 – 2019.

The significant growth in mobile connections and traffic is based on the ongoing adoption of more powerful mobile devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections combined with broader access to faster cellular networks. Last year, 82% of mobile traffic was ‘smart’ traffic, with advanced computing/multi-media capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity, but that figure is expected to rise to 98% by 2019.

According to Comstor, a division of WestconGroup Southern Africa, fast-paced adoption of mobile devices will be a key contributor to the country’s transformation impacting industries like education, healthcare and government services.

“The findings of Cisco’s VNI is no surprise given the phenomenal growth of mobile traffic. In South Africa, mobile data is expected to grow 11-fold from 2014 to 2019 with an estimated 48,2-million mobile users (88% of the population) in the 2019. As the Internet of Everything continues to take shape and trends like BYOD only expand, the question is whether South African enterprises are ready to handle the surge in mobile data traffic,” says Donovan Couve, Cisco business lead at WestconGroup Southern Africa.

According to Cisco’s VNI Majority of mobile connections will be “smart” connections by 2019 going up to 62%, from 21% in 2014. This means that local businesses will be forced not only to embrace the mobile but also to ensure the security of company data that is being shared via ‘smart’ connections.

South African mobile data traffic will grow twice as fast as fixed IP traffic from 2014 to 2019 and mobile traffic per South African user will reach 7 217Mb per month at a CAGR of 57%.

“For local businesses to handle the growth in mobile data, education and preparation are everything. At Comstor we help our partners to prepare for the future of IT with advanced Cisco Services and product specialists in convergence, security, network management, mobility and wireless networking solutions,” says Couve.

The South African business of 2019 will be no stranger to flexibility, incorporating technologies like cloud, mobility, social and data analytics to bring together people, processes and data of everything. It will also use data intelligently, strengthening connections and turning data into insights that can be used to better business.

“Whether this is done through Comstor or not, businesses need to start evaluating if they have right hardware and software in place to turn this increasing mobile data into action. This may mean redesigning your business’s mobile strategy to get analytics that enable the transformation of data into valuable business insights in real time.”